The recent Green Carpet Fashion Awards in Milan provided the latest showcase for Chopard’s ongoing, pioneering efforts in making luxury more sustainable

During fashion week in late September, the second edition of the Green Carpet Fashion Awards took place at the historic La Scala theatre in Milan. The brainchild of Livia Firth and her Eco-Age organisation, the awards acknowledge the work of luxury and fashion brands, craftspeople and influential figures in promoting and adhering to the principals of sustainability, social responsibility and artisanal handwork.

On stage at the ceremony, Firth said, “These awards are referred to as the awards that put the heart back into the global fashion industry,” and summed up the overarching mission as working toward “transformative change and real solutions for a future where fashion is finally sustainable.”

Co-presented by Italy’s national chamber of fashion, the Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana, the 2018 awards included a craftsmanship prize for Ferragamo’s shoemakers, an award in recognition of social justice and community for Tod’s boss Diego Della Valle and Diesel’s Renzo Russo, a sustainability prize for Donatella Versace, and an eco-stewardship award for the Woolmark farmers.

The headline Visionary Award went to doyen of fashion journalism, Suzy Menkes, the international editor of Vogue online, who was recognised for shining a spotlight on the remarkable artisans who hand-make luxury goods and celebrating their perfectionist efforts. To those in the business of employing “human hands working to produce beautiful clothes,” said Menkes while collecting her prize, ”I salute you.”

The Green Carpet Fashion Award trophies given to recipients by figures such as Cindy Crawford, Cate Blanchett and Julianne Moore, were designed and crafted by Chopard. The distinctive trophy features a graceful female figure, her hair and the apple she holds aloft cast in ethical Fairmined gold, her robe in aluminium, and her thermoformed glass cape embellished with engravings evoking a golden apple tree.

Recognising the jeweler and watchmaker’s role as a longtime partner in her efforts to bring greater sustainability to fashion, Firth stated upon the unveiling of the trophy, “Chopard encapsulates the GCFA’s dedication to the finest craftsmanship and shares a belief in sustainable innovation in order to move forward. Together we believe in investing in the handprint of fashion and luxury goods by celebrating the stories of the people, products and places in these extraordinary supply chains and making them relevant and important to future generations.”

Equally, the woman responsible for overseeing the trophies’ design, Chopard’s co-president and artistic director Caroline Scheufele, said she was delighted to once again collaborate with the Green Carpet Fashion Awards. “These awards are closely aligned with Chopard’s values, especially with our work on the Journey to Sustainable Luxury and the celebration of the artisans involved in all levels of our supply chains,” she remarked.

While ethical practices have long been core to Chopard’s corporate philosophy, in recent years under the guidance of Caroline Scheufele and her brother and co-president, Karl-Friedrich, the company has been a pioneering force in promoting sustainability and CSR in the luxury sphere.

In 2013, the brand unveiled the aforementioned Journey to Sustainable Luxury, an ongoing program that began with the sealing of a philanthropic relationship with the South American mining NGO, the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM). This agreement saw Chopard commit to provide funding for social welfare and environmental initiatives in gold-mining communities, as well as support and training enabling them to achieve Fairmined certification. In 2015, mines in Colombia and Bolivia achieved Fairmined status thanks to the efforts of Chopard, which agreed to purchase 100 percent of the precious metal these mines produced.

Scroll through the slideshow of sustainable jewellery:

This year, Chopard committed to exclusively using sustainably and responsibly sourced, Fairmined gold, which it has nonetheless been using extensively for many years. Furthermore, the company works closely with precious stone giant Gemfields to utilise diamonds and other gems that have been responsibly mined and sourced, with verifiable chains of custody and ethical provenance.

(In response to the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, Chopard ceased acquiring Burmese gemstones in 2017.) In addition to certified gems, Chopard’s Green Carpet jewellery collection also now features traceable and sustainably sourced opals— a first—from a family-owned mine in remote Australia.

Of the example Chopard is setting by building a fully verified and certified, sustainable and craftsmanship-focused supply chain all the way from the mine to the consumer, Caroline Scheufele said, “It is not an easy journey, but it is the right one.”

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